Zombieby Lesley Wheeler
Since my heart stopped I can feel the clock ticking,
the creek dreaming, the light sinking. Blood
pools at my ankles—socks full of mud. How
can I keep walking, talking, skinning a bagel,
sniffing the yeast? I dangle my head and arms
over the bed-cliff to warm them. My face is torn,
my hair looks dead. The small hot birds sound closer
than ever. I stop breathing, experimentally.
Just a habit, painless to break. The world
pulled in, the world pushed out, molecules
unchanged. Since my heart stopped, rot begins.
To move is to haul meat. A sour scent, blush
of green along the fat. Will I wither
snug along my bones or loosen, peel
away? Since my heart stopped, questions fester
like microscopic eggs. I never knew
that the fire in me could cool and still a walking,
talking engine would conduct the business
of my will. That I was less a working
body than a mind’s routine, a rhythm.